After leaving VMware and VCE, I founded DoubleCloud Inc. While working with many of my clients, we found it’s really a pain point for people to use vSphere Web Client which is quite slow and based on obsolete Flash technology. The old vSphere Client is a lot better in performance and usability, but VMware stopped upgrading it with new features.
When I was doing a demo today, I got an error saying “An internal error has occurred – Error #1099. Reloading the client is recommended, so as to clear any problems left by this error. Click Yes to reload the vSphere Web Client?” After reloading the Web Client, I got the same error. So something has to be fixed on the server side.
While debugging a vSphere Web Client plugin project, I found it’s not easy to refresh the services with the Virgo server which acts as the back end for the plugin GUI but as client for the vCenter server. Packaged as OSGi bundle, it’s supposed to be easy to reload the service. Mixed together with various components in the plugins, however, it’s sometimes not quite straight forward for the re-deployment for updated code. Here is a brute force approach I found while playing with it.
With the vSphere Web Client, VMware has really made the system complicated and slower. The extension mechanism is more flexible, but forces developers to use more libraries/frameworks/languages, therefore represents a much deeper learning curve than before with the Web based plugins. Installing and configuring the development environment itself could be intimidating for some developers. That is why I wanted to avoid it as long as possible, until I got a consulting project that may involve developing plugin for the Web Client.
Last week I released a tiny tool called DoubleCloud Client, which eases the usage of vSphere Web Client. I didn’t have time to add another hack which can bypass the session timeout of vSphere Web Client.
By default, vSphere Web Client times out after 30 minutes of inactivity according to VMware Doc. After timing out, you got to re-login and click back to the page you left out. It’s good for the security, but also not convenient. If you use it on your own desktop and have set up screen saver with password protection, you don’t really need this security feature.
In my previous article, I talked about why Web is not a good choice as the primary GUI for vSphere. I also mentioned that I was working on Ua small app to enhance the user experience of vSphere Web Client.
Today I am happy to announce a small application I developed recently using latest Visual Studio 2012 Express which is free from Microsoft. Although known with my work on Java in the community, I am pretty open to any programming languages and tools that are best to get work done. This time it happens to be C# and .NET.